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Look who made it to the top of Kilimanjaro this week!
Monday 3rd September 2007
In a bad week for Kilimanjaro, it has been widely reported that no less than four people have died on the mountain.
Three porters were amongst the dead, all of them perishing on either the Marangu or Machame routes, the two most popular routes on the mountain.
All three of them are said to have succumbed to hypothermia, following a few very rainy days last week. Those who failed to bring adequate waterproof clothing found themselves freezing to death in their tents.
As for the trekker, she was believed to be on the Rongai Route when she started to experience difficulties with the altitude near Mawenzi Tarn Hut. Havign been led down to Horombo Hut, she rested the night there but died the
As usual, the Kilimanjaro National Parks Authority (KINAPA) are reluctant to confirm the stories, and details of the dead and the manner in which they died are very hard to come by; though with so many eye-witness accounts it’s hard for KINAPA to deny them altogether.
Once again, it does show that KINAPA’s own estimate of the number of people who die annually on the mountain – around ten or twelve – is a gross underestimate, with most guides and others who work on the mountain putting the figure at nearer 50.
If these tragic cases serve any purpose, it is as a timely reminder to trekkers of the importance of taking the right equipment and clothing with you to the mountain; and that, no matter how many people climb the mountain each year (over 40,000; see News passim), it is still a very big mountain and attempting to reach the summit of it is not something that should be undertaken lightly.
For those who are about to embark on their Kilimanjaro climb, we do have some more positive news: for the past week the weather has been excellent, with those coming off the mountain today boasting of treks carried out under clear skies day and night.